Interesting Times

By Dr David Laing Dawson

“May you live in interesting times.” is an old Chinese curse that places an interesting twist on the word interesting.

And these be they I think. And not just because the world’s most powerful nation has the world’s dumbest president, not because the digital revolution allows me to write this and send it to your phones, tablets and computers, and not because a space station orbits up above us, and not because we now understand there is really no “up” within our space time continuum and expanding universe.

But because the generations alive today can be consciously aware of both the beginning and end of our existence. And by beginning I mean the enlightenment, the industrial revolution, and the birth of science, public health and medicine, and by “end” I mean the ravages of global warming and nuclear conflagration.

My generation had grandparents who moved from horse drawn buggies to motor cars, and they had grandparents of their own who left the farms and migrated to the cities for jobs in the new factories.

Up until then the human population was rather stable, despite pestilence, tribal and religious wars, famine and hardship. For thousands of years and thousands of migrations the ecosystem sustained, and life went on. Short and brutal though it was for most. And then suddenly (a mere blink in the life of our galaxy) we find we have 7 billion people on earth, insufficient forests to absorb the carbon we emit, all 7 billion gasping for breath on a wee polluted globe with a rising temperature.

I now have grandchildren who will experience the true disasters of global warming and over population, and they may have children and grandchildren who will witness the end of times.

From start to finish a mere 10 generations or so. And we, I think, live within that unique middle space of being able to imagine, experience, hear about and read about the beginning, and being able to see and imagine the inexorable movement toward the end. Interesting times indeed.

Unless we somehow control population growth, ease it back to a sustainable 4 or 5 billion, find a way of reducing and absorbing carbon, and sweep Donald Trump into the dustbin of history.

But, speaking of Donald, I must check out those Cohen tapes about the payoffs to Stormy and that other playmate.


1 thought on “Interesting Times

  1. After watching the vapid display of appalling ( could not care a damn) behaviour, over this weekend ( Queen’s Homecoming) one can only despair and wonder the why’s and wherefore’s . They ignore our world’s demise. IT is not within their frame of thought for most of them .

    Emergency Ward full of puking ‘superior intellects’ but drunks flood the place There was a medical specially created unit in one of the residencies! Police on overtime! Streets full of muck! Many very dangerously poisoned ! The strolling alumni plead that these young gals and lads are only young! Some even bemoan that their precious little snowflakes are degrading Kingston’s heritage !!!!! They are the enablers. Nobody appears to care a damn.

    At least Bruegel’s paintings depict a degree of medieval fun. The Kingston scene was not so. Inane vapid etc. And so it goes on . Whereas King Canute hoodwinked the folks around the tides, precious little is being done to fix these man made problems. Folk law does not cut it.

    One student told me that they he had just done an arduous mid term and therefore he was allowed to live it up by way of a break ! I paraphrase. A very revealing conversation was had. One actually put his big arms around my shoulder as we jousted.

    Instead of having the mid terms before the big binge, they should be forced to take them the morning after along with a few other proactive pills . Non turn uppers should be evicted and sent back from whence they came.

    Good riddance to bad rubbish. The argument goes that the students stock up the city coffers !!! The bottom line is they ignore the long term problem.

    But lest you think that all students are of this ilk, they are not, but suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune like the rest of us. I could go on.


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